At the moment, the cricketing fraternity has come to an indefinite halt owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Not only it has cancelled the ongoing cricketing events, but it is clouding uncertainty over the upcoming high-profile cricket tournaments. One of them being the Indian Premier League which has always charmed the audience with its fast-paced and thrilling action.
Over the years, the tournament has gained immense popularity because of the several world-class cricketers participating in this annual event. Some of them have also become household names in the country. On the contrary, there are individuals who have been regular stars of the IPL but they have never been appreciated enough for their contributions to the league. Some of them are still are the key members of their respective franchises.
Here is the list of 5 under-rated stars of IPL:
1. Shikhar Dhawan
Life is extremely tough for a professional cricketer in a country like India as the sport is followed by millions of people. Such is the misery that even a cricketer with a good track record is subjected to severe criticism. One such fine example is Shikhar Dhawan who has often faced the backlash for his odd failures. Even with his good numbers, the southpaw has hardly been projected as a genuine match-winner.
Especially in IPL where he has scored close to 4600 runs in his 159 outings. Still, the Delhi batsman has never been given his due credit like his counterparts. Having said that, time and again he has made his presence felt with his consistent performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Besides his partnership with David Warner has helped the franchise achieve some remarkable feats including the 2016 title win.
In his initial years, Dhawan didn’t get enough opportunities as part of the Mumbai and Delhi camps. Thereafter when he got into the Hyderabad set-up he immediately showed his hunger for success. Since then, there is not a single season where he has scored less than 300 runs for his team but he has usually been criticized by the cricketing fraternity. Sometimes it is for his low strike rate then sometimes it is for his ability to convert his starts which is quite unfair to him. To be honest, Shikhar is one of the IPL greats whose achievements have been undermined.
2. Faf du Plessis
The IPL norm which allows only 4 overseas stars in the playing XI of a team is a tricky one. Even though it intends to provide opportunities to the domestic talents of the Indian cricket it also robs some of the established overseas players from proving their mettle in one of the biggest T20 leagues. It can be easily understood from the case of Faf Du Plessis. Even after being a regular member of the Chennai dugout for almost a decade, he has only played 70 games.
However, it hasn’t stopped the South African from carving out his legacy in the league. He has accumulated close to 1900 runs at an average of 32. At times he has also been the crisis man for the MS Dhoni-led side. In particular, he has been the lynchpin of their middle-order whenever the team has tackled tough batting conditions.
Moreover, his on-field athleticism has been a valuable asset for CSK as the team has its share of slow movers. In all Du Plessis has been an unsung hero of the Yellow team. He is one of the few players who is always ready to contribute irrespective of his place in the side. On top of that, he has never appreciated enough for his ability to handle pressure situations which have been a hallmark of his IPL career.
3. Suryakumar Yadav
Being selfless is a quality that a cricketer needs to imbibe from his teenage days. It may not help him in scoring runs or taking wickets but it will develop him into a team-player in the long run. However such individuals are very few in the current cricketing system and one of them is India’s, Suryakumar Yadav. The Mumbaikar has already shown all the required attributes of becoming a successful cricketer with his impressive performances in the domestic circuit and as well as in the IPL.
Talking about his IPL record, he has been part of two title-winning campaigns. The first one coming in 2014 where he was the knight in shining armour of KKR with his finishing skills. In his 4 year stint with Kolkata, he regularly played match-defining cameos down the order. Thereafter he moved on to his home-town franchise, Mumbai Indians in 2018. There he has been given a more promising role in the middle-order and has not disappointed the team management.
It can also be validated from his 2019 outings as he ended up as the second leading-run scorer of the team with 424 runs. More importantly, it helped the franchise lift the title for the 4th time. Hence from his IPL career, one can easily point out that Yadav has always played his part according to the needs of his team. Unfortunately, he has not received many rewards in return as he has mostly remained in the shadow of other stars.
4. Amit Mishra
When the T20 cricket started its journey the spinners were only expected to control the run-flow in the middle-overs. However, as the times changed they regained some of the lost ground. Especially the leg-spinners who became the real superstars of the shortest format of the game. One such leggie is Amit Mishra who has scaled great heights in the IPL.
He is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of the league with 157 scalps to his name. Besides, he is the only bowler to take 3 hat-tricks in the tournament. To top it, he has maintained an economy rate of 7.3 in all these years which has made him one of the consistent performers of the league. Especially, Mishra is a serious threat on slow surfaces as he can run through sides with his guile.
Unlike the current set of tweakers, Mishra is an attacking spinner who always looks for wickets and it is evident from his track-record. Unfortunately, the tactic has also worked against him as he has bowled the odd expensive spells in search of wickets. In turn, now he has become a secondary option for most of the teams. Still, he has never shied away from his strength and seems to get better with age as he guided the spin department of Delhi in the 2019 IPL.
5. Mitchell McClenaghan
In a tournament like IPL, the most important facet for a team is to utilize the available resources efficiently. It might sound like a cliche but it is a success formula that has often helped the teams win championships. In particular, the Mumbai Indians are a franchise that mostly looks at a player’s skillset rather than his name. That’s why they have been able to bring out the best even from a less established player like Mitchell McClenaghan.
The Kiwi is a white-ball specialist who has abundant experience of playing in T20 leagues around the world. As far as his IPL record is concerned, he has played close to 60 games in which he has prized out 70 wickets. McClenaghan is a versatile bowler who is equally potent with the new ball and as well as with the old ball.
He has the required variations up his sleeves which helps him take wickets at important stages of the game. However more than his numbers, it is his impact in crucial games that has made him a regular member of the Mumbai dug-out. More importantly, he often comes up with match-defining performances in his limited opportunities. In all the left-arm pacer has played a big role in making Mumbai Indians a reckoning force in the league as he has been part of their 3 title-winning campaigns.
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